16 March 2020

COVID-19 | The OWHC in times of crisis

A message from the General Secretariat of the OWHC


Dear Members, Partners and Friends,

As announced in all the media of the world, we are now facing a coronavirus – COVID-19 – pandemic and this affects us all; member cities of the OWHC and partners.

The OWHC would like to express its solidarity with all the leaders of our cities and the workers who make enormous efforts daily to protect all the citizens of their community.

The employees of the OWHC General Secretariat followed the advice of the Canadian government by opting to work from home for the next days. We encourage all members who are able to work from home to do so for the sake of collective health, safety and well-being. We encourage everyone who has to go out in order to continue their daily work to take all possible protective measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

One of the objectives of the OWHC is to encourage cooperation and the exchange of information between members, in addition to developing a sense of solidarity among them. Now is the time to appeal to your sense of community to support all World Heritage cities that are particularly affected by the virus.

In these difficult times where city-to-city cooperation is crucial, the OWHC undertakes to share any useful information in its network in connection with the pandemic. In this sense, we encourage you to share with us the measures and good practices implemented in your city to contain the virus and manage this crisis. We also invite you to inform us of the actions implemented to support your community and protect your sites inscribed on the World Heritage List. In addition, all your good words of support for the affected cities will also be received and shared with the people concerned.

On this special COVID-19 page, all information related to the situation will be published. To share your solidarity messages and good practices, write to [email protected], with the subject “OWHC – COVID-19”.

Rest assured that the OWHC supports its entire network and encourages you more than ever to develop your sense of solidarity by sharing all the initiatives that could be useful for World Heritage Cities.

We hope that the situation will be resolved as soon as possible and we thank you, in the meantime, for your invaluable cooperation.

Best regards,


The General Secretariat of the OWHC


 “From the perspective of urban upgrading and development, the ability of a city responding to an outbreak depends on the soundness of the city’s existing public health facilities, the rationality of their spatial distribution, and the compatibility between public health facilities. In the end, it depends on the city’s management capabilities from the macro to the micro level. If the city has sufficient management capacity, it is possible to obtain relatively better results with the relatively insufficient existing resources.”

Read the complete guide: Urban Function – Spatial Response Strategy for the Epidemic – A Concise Manual on Urban Emergency Management

Click here to consult all the measures and initiatives